4 apps to get a taxi in Bangkok

Taxi is one of the easiest ways to travel around Bangkok but sometimes it won’t be so easy to catch one. If you are planning a trip far away the taxi drivers nearby might not be interested. Once again, application comes to rescue.

Several apps are trying to get into Thailand market, being GrabTaxi the most successful one so far. Booking a taxi through an app is very easy: you open the app, choose your destination and wait for a driver. These are the different choices you have.

grabtaxiGrabtaxi

You have probably seen this sign on several taxis. It is growing fast and trying to get partnership with existing Thai taxi fleet. In Thailand, it is available in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiangrai. In the rest of the world you can find it in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. You can read our review here.

It has a surcharge of 25 THB, that you will have to add to the meter at the end of the ride. They are very active with promotions and discounts which often means no fee or even a cheaper price than the meter.

The technology on the app is quite acceptable. Probably the only difficulty you will find is choosing the origin and destination, because of the language. If you are going to a landmark or a hotel, you shouldn’t have any problem.

grabtaxi sshot

After your request, you can see on real-time how the drivers nearby deny or accept your journey. When a driver agrees, it tells you where he is and you can contact him for further details. Or he might just call you to check where you are.

Now GrabTaxi is also introducing GrabCar on Bangkok. It is basically the same, but with limo and a slightly different pricing (there is no surcharge, but the meter starts at 45 THB). You can also get a motorcycle taxi with GrabBike.

Available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry

EasyTaxiEasy Taxi

Easy Taxi is not as clever as GrabTaxi or Uber, but it is easy, indeed. This app is available in many countries around the world, mainly in South America and South East Asia.

It works as an app version of the traditional Taxi Call Center. You pick up your origin, destination and wait for the result. When a driver is assigned for your trip, you can check all the details or call him to offer more information.

Easy Taxi booking

The surcharge is 20 THB, which you have to add to the meter fare at the end of the destination. Even if you don’t have the app installed, you can reach the service through the web app using any browser (also mobile-friendly!)

Available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Samsung Apps and web.

UberUber

Uber is also available in Thailand too. For now, just in Bangkok, but you will be lucky if you can catch one of these as they are too few yet.

The price starts at 25 TH and increases 1 THB per minute and 4.5 THB per kilometer. That is sometimes slightly cheaper than normal metered taxi, but be careful because it is kind of tricky. The minimum cost per ride is 45 THB and there is also a 45 THB fee if you cancel the ride. That is for UberX, the cheapest one. UberBlack is more expensive, as you can see in Uber website.

UberX

In most cases Uber will mean a more expensive ride than on a normal taxi, but in exchange you are supposed to get a better service.

One thing that you might and might not like is that you need to add your credit card details first when you create your account. The service fee is deducted automatically from your card, so you don’t need to carry cash with you. That’s good, but it is also kind of scary somehow.

You can get an estimation for the ride cost on the app and the website, but be aware that some routes have a fixed cost, like 1,000 THB for an airport ride.

Available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.

allthaitaxiAll Thai Taxi

All Thai Taxi is the uninspired name of a brand new services, just launcher in Thailand. It is still on early Beta, so don’t expect it to work as smooth as others like Grab Taxi.

All Thai Taxi has its own taxi fleet and features focused on safety and features a Lady Taxi.

att1

For now it has been launcher only on Android, but it will be available on iPhone too.

Available for Android and iPhone.

And more will come

When we first wrote this article, it featured only the main 3 apps back then. Now the list has gone up to four and it is likely that the number will continue rising. Which one is your favorite?

Check other apps to help you while in Thailand

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  • You may want to delete smart Taxi from your list a google chrome search fails to find a website and a search for smart taxi on the apple store link you provide also fails to find any search results. Perhaps they are a dead company.

    • Apparently they gave up already, thanks for the heads up!

  • DexterSverige

    GrabBike is banned in Thailand (other than for delivery services).

    Tried Grabcar, Uber on several occasions and it’s a mess. Drivers cancel on you repeatedly without any sanction on their part (while you get ‘fined’ by Uber and get a poorer rating as customer by Grabcar).
    Neither of them could find my condo, a quite known one right in the center of Bangkok. etc etc. It’s seems the Thai taxi fleet is just not ready for these type of services. Picking up ‘walk in’ customers in the street or at taxi stops is their standard operational procedure.

    Getting reliable taxi service is one of the biggest issues in BKK (and I have been a resident here for several years). I’m generally avoiding taxis and trying to get by with BTS, MRT and Airport Link as much as possible. When going places outside the commuting track, the best option is probably to book with one of the few companies that provide better cars and normally make their living from tour drives.
    The hassle of 1) pulling over taxis in the streets 2) getting inside without being run over by a bike 3) making the driver accept the destination (a lot of the flatly refuse “too busy”, “traffic jam”, ” mai dai” 4) repeating 1-3 over and over again is just not worth the few baht it saves compared to a quality booking service

    But of course for tourists the above doesn’t matter much as it’s part of the “the exotic Bangkok experience”.

    • I agree that transportation in Bangkok is challenging for a number of reasons. Personally I use taxi and GrabTaxi a lot and I don’t have much problems, but I live in the suburbs of the city. I am aware that the taxis in the inner city are infamous for being picky and annoying as you described.

      There are lot of barriers in the way, starting for the inaccurate addresses on the map to the language or the lack of service mind of some drivers, but I like to believe that it is slowly improving. Sadly using taxi is sometimes the lesser evil as not anyone have a BTS or MRT stop next door and catching a bus is a life-threatening experience most of the times.

      Anyway, Rome was not built in a day and a better transportation will not come overnight because of some apps, so we will have to be patience, wait, and be bothered by those taxi drivers who somehow don’t want to do their job.

      PS. Actually GrabTaxi drivers are generally quite afraid of being reported, so they will try to avoid to cancel the ride and make you cancel yourself.

    • DexterSverige

      Thanks. How do I report a GrabTaxi driver that cancels on me? Usually they just disappear from the app without a trace. I tried to email their customer service…and for no reply.

    • I think if they cancel it is already done but check on the “History” tab on the app. The cancelled ride will be noted there and when you tap on it, there is a button called “Contact Support”. You can use this same menu to rate previous rides, in case there was some problem with it (drive like a maniac, bad smell, car that is more like a garbage can… and so on)

      I don’t know how responsive they will be these days but last time I used it some months ago they will replied within a day.